DJI Can Now Authorize Drone Flights in Controlled Airspace

DJI now has the US government’s permission to authorize drone flights in controlled airspace near airports. The FAA has approved DJI as part of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program. The agency rigorously tested and validated DJI’s technology capabilities before giving its stamp of approval. DJI was one of 9 companies that were just newly authorized. The other eight are Aeronyde, Airbus, AiRXOS, Altitude Angel, Converge, KittyHawk, UASidekick, and Unifly. The LAANC program was launched by the FAA this year to streamline the process for professional drone pilots to receive authorization to fly near airports. Instead of
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‘Beautygate’: iPhone XS is Smoothing Skin in Selfies, Owners Complain

Apple’s new iPhone XS and XS Max are at the center of a new controversy some have dubbed ‘Beautygate.’ The front-facing camera is said to be automatically smoothing skin in selfies, and there’s no way to turn this “beauty filter” off. When shooting selfies, the iPhone XS and XS Max reportedly adjust colors and apply “aggressive” skin smoothing that hides fine details such as blemishes, freckles, and more. The differences aren’t as noticeable in well-lit conditions, leading some to believe that the “beauty mode” is actually the result of noise reduction being applied to photos. But the smoothing
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The Knot and WeddingWire to Merge to Form Wedding Industry Giant

The parent company of The Knot has agreed to a $933 million deal to merge with WeddingWire, creating a juggernaut of a company in the US wedding industry. WeddingWire announced on September 25th that the public company XO Group, which owns The Knot and several other website and services, has agreed to be taken private with shareholders receiving $35 per share in cash (a 27% premium to the stock price at closing on September 24th). The combined company, which will have over 1,700 employees, will be owned by private equity firms Permira Funds and Spectrum Equity, which are the
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Burglars Steal $200K+ in Leica Gear from Camera Store

A popular camera store in the UK was targeted this week by burglars who made off with over $200,000 in Leica cameras and lenses.

Ffordes in the North of Scotland says that it was broken into in the early hours on Wednesday morning. It appears that the criminals specifically targeted Leica equipment.

“The police suggest that [the burglars] had watched us for weeks, and they may have come in more than once pretending to be a customer and have a good look around,” manager Alister Bowie tells PetaPixel. “They may have triggered the alarm about a month ago to time

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Google Adds Image Rights Metadata to Photo Search Results

Google is taking another big step in protecting photographers’ copyright through the Google Images image search engine: it just added image rights metadata to the photo search results on Google Images. Developed in collaboration with the photo industry consortium CEPIC and the media technical standards body IPTC, the new feature helps make it clear to Google search engine users who the copyright owner of a photo is. “It’s traditionally been difficult to know the creator of images on the web, as well as who might own the rights,” Google says. “This information is often part of image metadata, and
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Fujifilm Officially Wins Medium Format

I recently discussed how Fujifilm’s decision to go into the medium format industry might have been a mistake. But considering some of the recent announcements, have my points been completely negated? In short no; this is because the full frame market is still significantly larger. Imagine the kind of market share they could have gained in full frame based on the kind of developments and investments they are making in the medium format industry. In any case, Fuji has made its decision to not develop any full frame camera and its commitments to medium format is very clearly visible.
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Sigma to Launch Full-Frame Foveon L-Mount Mirrorless Camera

Sigma has announced that it’s developing a full-frame L-mount mirrorless camera as part of the company’s new L-Mount Alliance with Leica and Panasonic. At the core of the camera will be a sensor with Sigma’s Foveon technology. Sigma’s Foveon sensors use a proprietary three-layer structure in which red, green, and blue pixels each have their own full layer. In traditional sensors, the three pixels share a single layer in a mosaic arrangement and the camera “fills in” missing colors by examining neighboring pixels. Since each pixel of each photo is recorded in each of the three colors, resulting photos are
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Dear Panasonic: A Plea from a Photojournalist

It’s not often camera news puts dread in my heart, but Panasonic’s full frame announcement felt like watching CNN at its most doom-laden. The future, suddenly, does not seem so bright for us Micro Four Thirds (M43) shooters.
Young locals shoot a selfie in front of a line of riot policeman during the 2018 Armenian Revolution. Lumix GX8 with 12-35mm lens: 1/200th at F2.8. 640 ISO.
I’ve worked with Micro Four Thirds since the system’s first camera (the Panasonic Lumix G1) was released 10 years ago. Sure it has its downsides… Let me rephrase that, it has a
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Zenit and Leica Unveil the Zenit M Full-Frame Rangefinder

The Russian camera brand Zenit has announced a new full-frame “mirrorless” camera. Called the Zenit M, it’s a rangefinder based on the Leica M (Type 240) created in collaboration with Leica. Krasnogorsky Zavod, which manufactures Zenit-brand gear under the ownership of Shvabe Holding, announced back in 2016 that it would be bringing the Zenit brand back from the dead to battle Leica in luxury. In 2017, the company revealed it would be launching a full frame mirrorless camera in 2018 with a “leading photographic equipment company.” That company is Leica. Zenit says it made both hardware and software
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Kodak Ektachrome is Now Shipping

After nearly two years of building up anticipation, Kodak Alaris has just announced that it has started shipping Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 film worldwide. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on the film stock again, you’ll be able to very soon. The new Ektachrome will initially be available in 35mm film rolls in the standard 36×24mm film format. It’s a daylight balanced color positive film that features “clean, vibrant colors, a neutral tone scale, and extremely fine grain,” and it’s “well suited to a wide range of applications, such as product, landscape, nature and fashion photography,” Kodak Alaris
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Instagram Founders Leaving Facebook After Internal Clashing

Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned from their leadership roles and are leaving Facebook. While Instagram has continued its worldwide domination under Facebook ownership, the co-founders reportedly clashed with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other leaders over the direction of the photo-sharing app. “Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” Systrom writes in an announcement. “We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now
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Leica, Panasonic, Sigma Announce L-Mount Alliance in Mirrorless Wars

Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma have just announced the new L-Mount Alliance, a new collaborative effort based around the Leica L-Mount. The three companies will develop new L-mount full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras and lenses. “The ‘L-Mount Alliance’ is a previously unparalleled form of collaboration that will particularly benefit the customers of all three partners,” the companies state in their announcement. “As a joint effort of all three partners, this alliance will increase the importance of the L-Mount technology to the world of photography even further.” While previously the Leica L-mount was limited to Leica’s cameras and lenses, moving
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Photographer Sues Zillow for $81M for Scraping His Real Estate Photos

A real estate photographer has filed a lawsuit against Zillow, accusing the popular online real estate database of using his photos without permission. He’s seeking damages of $81 million or more. The American Genius reports that California/Nevada-based photographer George Gutenberg claims that Zillow scraped photos from Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and went beyond using the data syndicated to Zillow. This allegedly led to Zillow obtaining Gutenberg’s copyrighted photos and using them without permission on their for-profit website. Gutenberg’s standard copyright terms for potential customers states that only he can grant 3rd parties the right to use his images. Gutenberg’s
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Leica, Panasonic, Sigma Joining Forces on Full-Frame Mirrorless: Report

Canon and Nikon have joined Sony to form the “big three” in the mirrorless camera wars, but there may be some new competition just around the corner: Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma are reportedly teaming up on a new full-frame camera project. 43 Rumors is reporting “with 100% certainty” that Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma will be collaborating “closely” on a new full-frame system that’s based on the Leica SL mount. Leica’s SL mount was originally the Leica T mount. But when the Leica SL full-frame mirrorless camera was announced in 2015, Leica renamed the mount the “L mount” and the company
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Very Nice… How Much?! On Day Rates in Commercial Photography

It’s standard practice for commercial photography clients to ask photographers for their ‘day rate’. Most estimates that photographers provide start with a day rate before going on to production costs and expenses. Now I used to think I could simply take it for granted that anyone involved in the industry would be able to appreciate this isn’t exactly what a photographer — or any independent creative professional, for that matter — working on a short-term project earns for every single day of the year. I’ve realized that the world of photography is in so much flux that this isn’t a
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